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1848 I'm going way back now

11 Posts
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Posts: 6348
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Topic starter

this common melody got stuck in my head one day. I actually enjoyed it. I knew Stephen Foster wrote it . when I Googled him I learned he wrote this song back in 1847. he was 21 years old. "Oh, Susanna" is an interesting song; fun to play. the melody is easy on guitar. a few 'Hey!' moments. the song has perfect sentimentalism and melancholy for the times back then, yet the lyrics of the song are kind of surreal.
I like old songs, but I never thought I would be playing one this old.

oh susanna

Posted : 26/07/2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 2717
Famed Member

Thanks for that, DB.
It's a delight to hear a traditional American classic.
Crystal clear recording!

I like the accordion . . . real or synth?

The lyrics ARE a bit surreal . . . even nonsensical . . . kinda Lewis Carroll like.

One more verse at the end ya know . . .

I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee,
I'm going to Louisiana, my true love for to see
It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry
The sun so hot I froze to death; Susanna, don't you cry.

Oh, Susanna, don't you cry for me
I come from Alabama,
With my banjo on my knee.

I had a dream the other night when everything was still,
I thought I saw Susanna coming up the hill,
The red, red rose was in her hand, the tear was in her eye,
I said I'm coming from Dixieland, Susanna don't you cry.

I soon will be in New Orleans and then I'll look around
And when I find my gal Susanne, I'll fall upon the ground
But if I do not find you there, then I will surely die
And when I'm dead and buried, Susanna don't you cry.

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

Posted : 26/07/2009 10:25 pm
Posts: 6348
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Topic starter

yep. I omitted the last verse. call it artistic license. :lol:

glad you like what I did.

the strings you hear are VSTs (Halone 1 inside Cubase). I like the viola and contrabass. I used the accordion instead of the violin. the violin isn't that good. but I love the accordion. and yes, it is a VST.
I always wanted to learn accordion. maybe some day.

Posted : 27/07/2009 10:38 am
Posts: 5480
Illustrious Member

I remember that song from music class in like 4th grade or something. I always thought it was a post-war song. (Civil War) Nicely done. Love all the touches you added to it. 8)

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

Posted : 27/07/2009 1:03 pm
Posts: 247
Reputable Member

Great as usual, really suits your voice as well.

Posted : 27/07/2009 5:19 pm
Posts: 6348
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Topic starter

thanks for listening. my voice? it really liked this song. I will be the first to admit my voice is not fantastic or amazing. it is just a voice that has been growing since I stopped cigs. each time I try to sing I find I have more and more air.
I did several versions of this song. in one I changed it to minor chords and sang blues notes. it was a whole different song.
as I said, the song was fun to learn and play. it totally surprised me. who'd have thought a hundred and sixty one year old song could be so much fun to work out.

thanks again.

Posted : 27/07/2009 7:38 pm
Posts: 2415
Famed Member

Nice one! It was a bit unexpected to see on here, but I liked the layers of the strings and guitar, it sounded great!

In Space, no one can hear me sing!

Posted : 28/07/2009 3:20 am
Posts: 1281
Noble Member

very good dogbite. nicely played as well.

In some parts (like in the middle and at the end) you seem to combine the melody and rhythm a bit in your playing - im a bit jealous of that - its something i really struggle to do myself.

I have never heard that song before, and i would never have thought it was so old - good job.

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

Posted : 29/07/2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 6348
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Topic starter

very good dogbite. nicely played as well.

In some parts (like in the middle and at the end) you seem to combine the melody and rhythm a bit in your playing - im a bit jealous of that - its something i really struggle to do myself.

I have never heard that song before, and i would never have thought it was so old - good job.

this is an old American song. I would not expect it be as well known abroad. for sure there are many classic English folk songs that everyone can idly hum. Stephan Foster wrote "Home Sweet Home" , "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" every American knows them, but probably not who wrote them.
playing and recording this tune totally disarmed me. I still am surprised at how much fun I had doing it.
I mean, it's such a simple song. almost trite and dumb.
it really got to me. I guess because it is kind of a sad song. I like that stuff.
as for my guitar picking. it's my bastardized style of flatpicking. I hold the pick normally, but use my middle figure too.
I figured out long ago that the melody of the song is within the chord. I found it easier using open chords. the ring and pinky finger are used to fret those melody notes. with practice it comes.
as long as enough notes are hit to sound the chord then any fretting finger can be used to get that melody and rhythm going.
it's easier on acoustic for me. it sounds very different on the electric.

Posted : 29/07/2009 11:58 pm
Posts: 10264
Illustrious Member

Dogbite, you may be surprised at how well known Stephen Foster is here in the UK....."Oh Susanna," "Camptown Races," and "Nellie Bly" are just three I can remember off the top of my head without resorting to the search button. Songs my parents and grandparents used to sing along to - and featured in many an old film, all of 'em.

For some reason, the Soundclick link isn't working, so I'm deprived of the pleasure of actually listening - keeps sending me to the soundclick home page, for some reason. I'll try again in the morning.

Look forward to listening....

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

Posted : 01/08/2009 9:34 pm
Posts: 6348
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Topic starter

Vic. there must be a snag in your link. whenever I click on the link I provided I am sent right to my song page.
maybe soundclick is doing housecleaning. try again.

Posted : 02/08/2009 10:35 am